Father Gino Burresi is someone alive today who makes exactly the same claims as St Padre Pio. Yet it is known that this man is not a saint. And charges of sexual abuse have been made against him and the Vatican has banned his ministry. Gino still has his supporters though. When Gino could get away with his claims for so long today how much easier could it have been for Pio who lived decades ago in a world where communication and science was less efficient to do that? And Pio was more secluded than Gino as well which helped a lot. The only reason we know that Gino is not a saint is because he unlike Pio got caught in such a way that there was no room for anybody to come along to credibly distort the facts and leave him smelling of roses.


The outstanding Fatima priest Fr Robert Fox- was a prominent promoter of Fr Gino Burresi (known as "Brother Gino"). Originally a member of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, an order founded in 1816 by Italian priest Bruno Lanteri, Burresi became a devotee of the Fatima revelations in the 1950s, and was the driving force behind the creation of a Marian sanctuary in San Vittorino, outside Rome.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Burresi acquired a worldwide reputation as a mystic. He was alleged to bear the stigmata, to have the "odour of sanctity," to be able to read souls and also produce paintings and other artwork miraculously. Not ordained until 1983, in his early fifties, Fr Burresi left the Oblates of the Virgin Mary in 1992 to found a new order, the Congregation of the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This included an order of nuns, whose entire formation he personally controlled with an iron hand. According to intrepid 'vision-buster' Rick Salbato, who had investigated Burresis for ten years and blew the whistle early on, "over 8,000,000 people" worldwide believed him to be a prophet. As donations poured in, "hundreds of persons from Italy and beyond came to him every day seeking comfort, including high-ranking prelates, politicians, and ambassadors. From the faraway Philippines, then-president Corazon Aquino sent one of her messengers to have a rosary blessed by this man in the odor of sanctity."

Impressed with the fact that a priest of Fr Fox's standing had penned The Call of Heaven: Bro. Gino, stigmatist (1982), I myself used his book periodically as an evangelical tool, handing several copies to friends and family in the mid-80s. Lacking experience and knowledge, I didn't pause to reflect on the convenient propaganda that presented Burresi as the spiritual son and successor of Padre Pio; his having purportedly acquired the stigmata on the very day Padre Pio died. I cringe at my youthful credulity. After all, what were the odds of God raising up, Hollywood-style, another priest-stigmatist immediately upon the demise of the only such priest in the entire history of the Church? ... D'oh!

It turned out, of course, that Burresi was a wicked fraud. His own superiors finally brought charges against him but a Vatican investigation cleared him, reprimanding the superiors instead — small wonder when some investigators were supporters of Burresi! These included then-secretary of the Congregation for Religious, and future cardinal, Vincenzo Fagiolo ("He came to me often for confession," Burresi revealed). In a three-page appeal to John Paul II against this cover-up, dated 22 November 1988, the superiors listed their accusations: consummated homosexual acts with numerous young men, kidnapping for sexual purposes, violation of the seal of the sacrament of penance.

Another investigation dismissed the appeal, this time sacking the superiors! Fr. Burresi was to remain in the diocese of Volterra (Tuscany) to continue his work, with the sole stipulation that he could no longer work with young men pursuing vocations. "Five years later, however, in 1997," writes Salbato, "the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith opened another investigation on him. The case was concluded on May 10, 2002, with a decree signed by Ratzinger... The sentence takes into consideration the fact that the accusations were made past the statute of limitations, so it neither condemns nor punishes Fr. Gino Burresi. But the 20-page report accompanying the decree [signed by the four investigating prelates]... lists the accusations against the priest: violation of the seal of the confession, the illegitimate use against the penitent of confidential information revealed during confession, defamation, violation of the right to privacy, incitement to disobedience against superiors, false mysticism, and claims of apparitions, visions, and supernatural messages." The sexual abuse was also factored in and contributed to the final judgement, Vatican sources confided.

This unresolved case, apparently filed away forever, "was reopened, and a much more severe conclusion was reached – with the presiding judge being Ratzinger, who has since become pope." On 27 may 2005, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued the decree against the 73-year-old Fr. Burresi, The decree announced by the Italian bishops conference, revoking his faculties and removing him from public ministry, drew remarkably little public notice considering his fame and notoriety. Pope Benedict confirmed the decree in forma specifica i.e. he made its conclusions his own, and no appeal is possible.

Satanic inspiration

Some were perplexed by Gino's trickery — like his ability to discern hidden secrets about people that nobody could have known. It seemed to surpass the mere hypnotic control he exercised over his nuns. Yet whether preternatural or not, the fact that Satan was busily at work all the while was signalled by a fundamental feature of his scam. Rick Salbato summed it up thus: "If you want to go to San Giovanni Rotondo and see the home of Padre Pio, you must go to Rome and take a train south. If you decide to see Gino, you must go to Rome and take a bus north. If you go to San Vittorino, you will never get to San Giovanni. For many years there were tours of Fatima, Lourdes, and San Giovanni. Then these tours became Fatima, Lourdes, and San Vittorino. Get the point?"

This mirrors Medjugorje. For 30 years, inestimable numbers of Catholics have travelled to Bosnia-Herzegovina, often repeatedly at enormous cost, instead of journeying to major shrines like Lourdes and Fatima. Next to the fostering of disobedience, this distraction/diversion, especially undermining the awareness, understanding and practise of the crucial Five First Saturdays of reparation requested by the Blessed Mother via Sister Lucia, is a monumental strike against Heaven's guaranteed plan for world peace. For according to Sr Lucia, "Whether the world has war or peace depends on the practice of this devotion, along with the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is why I desire its propagation so ardently, especially because this is also the will of our dear Mother in Heaven" [19 March 1939].

COMMENT: Medjugorje has been promoted by lying priests and priests who should know better but who do not want to. This happened with Gino too.


No Copyright